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Latest Mars Polar Lander Stories

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2008-05-28 11:20:00

With data recorded on board Mars Express, you can hear Phoenix descend on to the surface of the Red Planet. After being processed by the Mars Express Flight Control Team, the sounds of Phoenix descending are audible, loud and clear. DOWNLOAD AUDIO FILEThe data from the Mars Express Lander Communication system (MELACOM) that tracked Phoenix was received on Earth soon after the Phoenix landing. DOWNLOAD ANIMATION: As Mars Express flew overThis animation shows the signal of Phoenix's descent,...

2008-05-25 15:39:41

This story was updated at 5:46 p.m. EDT. PASADENA, Calif. – Excitement and nerves are both running high among NASA scientists as they prepare for the Phoenix Mars Lander's planned Sunday arrival at the red planet, mission scientists said today. The spacecraft is still in good shape and on track as it nears the finish line of its 422 million-mile (679 million km) trek to the Martian arctic. "Well this is exciting, a very exciting day," said Doug McCuistion, director...

2008-05-24 16:49:26

DENVER, Colorado — Getting the Phoenix Mars Lander down and dirty on the red planet is an engineering saga stretching out over a decade. Its mission "raises from the ashes" a spacecraft and instruments from two prior tries to reach the red planet: the Mars Polar Lander that failed to phone home in 1999 and a 2001 lander that was mothballed and shelved by NASA. The builders of those two earlier spacecraft here at Lockheed Martin Space Systems have taken lessons learned to send...

2008-05-22 19:04:23

It's go time for NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander. After nearly 10 months speeding across 422 million miles (679 million km), the Phoenix spacecraft is just days away from plunging into the Martian atmosphere on Sunday to land near the north pole of Mars. "We've been working quite hard all the way along," said Deborah Bass, Phoenix's deputy principal investigator at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif. "The feeling around here is that we are cautiously...

2008-05-22 04:20:00

The Story The phoenix, a fabulous mythical bird the size of an eagle, symbolizes rebirth in many ancient cultures. According to the ancient Greeks, the bird lives in Arabia, nearby a cool well and sings a beautiful morning song. The phoenix lives 500 years or longer with only one phoenix existing at a time. When the bird's death approaches, it bursts into flames, and a new bird springs from the consumed pyre. Similar to its namesake, the Phoenix Mission "raises from the ashes" a spacecraft...

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2008-05-20 13:25:00

ESA's Mars Express mission control team are ready to monitor Phoenix's critical entry, descent and landing onto the Martian surface on 26 May 2008. The Mars Express mission control team have completed major preparations for supporting the entry, descent and landing (EDL) phase of NASA's Phoenix mission to the Red Planet. On 25 May, Mars Express will point towards Phoenix's planned entry trajectory and record signals broadcast from the lander as it plunges through the Martian...

2008-05-13 17:07:05

This story was updated at 1:33 p.m. EDT. WASHINGTON — With just 12 days to go until its Mars arrival, NASA's Phoenix lander is functioning well and on course to be the first mission to land in the frigid, arctic regions of the red planet, NASA officials said today. A planned maneuver to adjust Phoenix's course was canceled last Saturday because the spacecraft is on track for its May 25 landing, said Barry Goldstein, Phoenix project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion...

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2008-05-10 08:05:00

When NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander descends to the surface of the Red Planet on May 25, few will be watching as closely as the men and women who have spent years planning, analyzing and conducting tests to prepare for the dramatic and nerve-wracking event known as EDL -- Entry, Descent and Landing. For after all their hard work, they know that landing on Mars is not a walk in the park. Less than 50 percent of all previous lander missions have made it safely to the surface. Like all missions,...

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2007-09-07 16:17:34

A camera flying aboard The University of Arizona-led Phoenix Mars Lander took its first picture during cruise and sent it back to Earth on Sept. 6. The lander's Robotic Arm Camera took the photo looking into the Robotic Arm's scoop. Both instruments are encased in a protection biobarrier, to ensure no Earth organisms are carried to Mars. "It is a nice, clean picture with good sharp focus. One of these days it will be filled with Martian dirt," said Peter Smith, Phoenix principal investigator...

2007-08-06 18:12:21

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Aug. 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Aerojet, a GenCorp company, provided propulsion for NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander mission which launched on Aug. 4 at 5:26 a.m. from Space Launch Complex 17A, Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket. NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander is the first launch in NASA's "Scout Program" -- missions that are designed to be lower cost complements to larger missions being planned for NASA's Mars Exploration Program....


Word of the Day
malpais
  • The ragged surface of a lava-flow.
'Malpais' translates from Spanish as 'bad land.'